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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

By The Sea, By The Sea, By The Wonderful Sea

So, as I've said 100 million million times I'm now living by one of my dearest and bestest friends in the world. We've known each other since I was 14 and she was 12 - never lost touch through countless moves, life changes. I cannot think of a week that has gone by in the past in the past 54 years that we have not written, spoken, texted with each other. We survived some of the worst times in our lives together and I've always said if it had not been for the deep friendship of Kim, Liz and Richard I have no idea where I'd be now. The four of us have always had each other's backs, we were each other's safe harbors when the seas grew too rough. Even after she moved away there were times when things were so bad I would just sit on the phone and sob -and she would just listen, you cannot be a better friend than that. I always knew we'd find our ways back to each other and here it is years later we are back together.  Kim and Stephen have been over here quite a bit, they looked at it before we bought it, came over and changed the locks when we did buy it, they both helped swamp out the worst of it, housed David for a week while he was moving stuff, helped move stuff. And now we are here!

I had not been to Kim's house so on Tuesday I set out - it's a little over an hour, very do-able. Kim lives in a seaside resort town, it's very very pretty and a bit touristy, but so cool. They live in a neighborhood which I don't think I would do well in, Molly and Reuben would have us thrown out in a week. Kim's house is so perfect, I should have taken pictures (and I will), she has two gigantic cats and one teeny dog that you've met. We went downtown Seaside and she took me to the ocean first, the sand is powdery, not like the grainy sand of Long Island. It was a bit overcast and chilly but not bad. We walked out to the shoreline and I took way too many pictures of seagulls like I'd never seen one before. We strolled around town, poking in souvenir shops and clothing stores where all the hats and shirts had Seaside printed on them.  We ate lunch at a brewery, the one thing about Oregon is is it awash in beer! We had fried pickles and I had one of those new Beyond Beef burgers - no, it did not make me think I was eating meat but yes it was very good.

After lunch we went to the museum, then back to Kim's and she followed me to the tire repair as I had a slow leak. We dropped my car off so we could do some shopping next door at Fred Myers which is sort of like a cross between Target and Wal Mart. They finished my car at the same time we finished which was great and even greater was no charge!! I headed back home after that, we are going there on Sunday and we are planning on continuing with Sunday dinners because that is what old friends do. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Surprises Galore

Someone asked me the other day if we've had any surprises - yeah, a few. The internet was a BIG surprise, or more correctly the lack of one. We are going to have to pay a heavy termination fee to Viasat  but the Verizon Jet pack works amazingly  - everything has hooked up to it easily and it  works so well even our friends were taken aback. You can hook up to 15 devices which is a lot, so far we've hooked up two tvs, on blueray DVD, a Roku, two tablets and 3 Alexas plus the phones and we still have room. The cat pee smell was sort of a surprise, not that I didn't expect it but it was a lot more than I had thought it would be. But we have in the past 6 days gotten it down to very tolerable, Kim remarked last night it just smelled like we have pets, but not in a bad way. Right now we're still dealing with RPS (Random Pee Spots) which are annoying - and they don't always smell all the time. You'll be sitting there minding your own beeswax and then suddenly the scent of Urine du Feline will waft gently past you. It makes us walk around like dogs hunting down a hidden hamburger, we had Kim and Stephen doing it last night, walking through the house,deeply sniffing.back tracking. We have it narrowed down at least. 

And speaking of last night - given the state of the house when we first arrived 6 days ago I was very surprised we could have someone over for dinner, but we did! Kim and Stephen brought dinner with them and what a great way to end the week. We spent the morning scrubbing down the place - again. We brought the table in and I even found my table cloths. The weather cooled off greatly - there's another surprise. I knew the temperatures were lower here, when I sent the girls some summer clothes Brandi had told me four pairs of shorts were more than enough since there usually wasn't a big opportunity to wear them. At night it's in the 50's and during the day it is usually hovering around the 70's. When we first arrived it was VERY hot and since we cannot open most of the windows it was awful! But we were assured it was unusual and it appears so. So dinner was fun, Kim brought their wee little dog Piglet and we just kept swapping the dogs out so no one got eaten.
Kim looked at our tree and said it's a Pecan tree - and we have two! They're both loaded - the Marion Blackberries should be ready to pick late June, early July - good surprise! They brought over Marion Berry wine and it was pretty good. It's so wonderful living somewhere that I really know people! I'm driving out tomorrow to visit Kim at her house in Seaside for the first time. We will spend the day together and I'm very much looking forward to it. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Wheels of Progress Turn Slowly

So today was a stressful day in which we accomplished things. First of all we did get new phones the other day from Verizon along with a Jet Pack - do you know what that is? We didn't! It's a little thing that runs on cell service - but you can hook up to 15 devices on it! We got the unlimited data plan and as of this morning, the TV, the tablets, the Roku and all the Alexa devices are up and running - it's like coming back to the land of the living. Of course we still have the issue with the Viasat and we will probably have to eat the termination fee of close to $500. Yes, I know it's expensive but it will be much cheaper than trying to keep it - I figured we would run through the 12 GB in around 6 days and then be SOL for the rest of the month, not much we can do about it but move on. I was back to scrubbing today, the cat pee smells goes but then comes creeping back when the chemical smells masking it fade - but it is way better than it's been - there's areas that must've been worse than others. 

Now that we're past the major hurdles of it I can concentrate on things. This morning I grabbed the Murphy's Oil soap for the bathroom - it's not just the pee, it's the cobwebs, the dead bugs, the general gnarly layer of schmutz pervading every surface. I continuously dump and refill my bucket, when I can't see my bright yellow gloves in the water I change it - there's no point in smearing the filth back on.Every room I've done so far I have emptied my bucket about 8 times and the water is black.  I use microfiber clothes - I have a stack of them and when they get yucky I just toss them in the wash  for reuse - works much better than paper towels do and there's no waste. We've been here for 5 days and have barely touched the paper towels. When I got done with the bathroom even I was impressed, it must've looked like that when it  was new, it just shines. David is planning on pulling out the large vanity - it's not practical, takes up way too much room and is not in the best of shape. He'll preserve the tiles for Kim and then put a tub in - it will be lovely. 

And very exciting news - I got my car back - FINALLY. I got called at 6:45 this morning saying it would be here around 11, at 11:30 we called and were told he  was almost in Portland, at 2:30 we called again and then...... I had a bit of a meltdown. Ok, I had a volcanic eruption in which I did not say a lot of bad words - to my credit - but I was asked to stop calling everyone  a liar. I did not yell, cry or raise my voice but I just kept on going back to the fact that the car had been promised today, followed by liar,liar liar. Then I was told I would  be called back, an hour passed so I texted my (liar)broker to let them know that if I did not get my car TODAY I would be renting a car, they would be footing the bill and I would also be contacting the Better Business Bureau first thing Monday and names would be named. About 2 minutes later I got a call from one of the senior members who now was willing to work with me and at 7 pm my car magically appeared in Clatskanie. Being a cold hearted bitch has it's advantages along with not yelling - the one thing I've learned from being in home care for years is the first one who yells loses It gives the other party the opportunity to announce you're crazy and unreasonable - you lose! But not today my friend, not today. Winner winner, chicken dinner!!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Running In Place

That's what we feel like most days, you get up and just spend the day moving all day but it sometimes does not feel like you accomplish much. I clean and clean, moving on to the next cat pee oasis - anyone that walks in the door is asked to sniff around. After awhile all you smell is cat pee and a variety of cleaning fluids.  David has been fixing leak after leak after leak. The toilet first, then the washing machine cold water is leaking, the slop sink leaks down the side and the cold water tap is frozen on that side, the kitchen sink leaks..... there are broken pipes, hinges - David just looked at me wearily yesterday and asked "is it really possible to break EVERYTHING?".  Yes David , it is.

This morning he is outside because there is apparently water still going to the hot tub so that needed to be capped off. Today we are heading out to get new cell phones, David's does not work at all, mine only on the very back of the deck. We did have the Internet installed but unfortunately they appear to be a HUGE ripoff. When I opened the app I was pleased to see it would only be 50 dollars a month. Then I saw we had a limit of 12 GBs. A month. I knew it had to be a mistake so I called. NO mistake, but of course you could add to it, 50 is 120 dollars a month. I was almost crying at this point because those of us that understand GBs also understand with Netflix, Alexa, the tablets we will be blowing through that in a matter of days. AS of this morning after having Internet for about 16 hours we've already used up 2 and we haven't even set up the TV yet. There is no grace period and early termination is $15 for every month - David signed a two year contract. But honestly, given how much he was doing between health insurance, arranging the utilities, etc. it was not surprising it all slipped through the cracks. 

But we are making progress, the smell this morning is VERY faint, upstairs there is no smell at all. We will hopefully start getting furniture in the near future, very basic course. Since we will be working on the walls, floors, etc.. we don't want to bring too much in but we are planning on getting a platform bed! The mattress is still on the floor which means when we get up it's from a deep squat position. Being that we're late 50's, early 60's doing that repeatedly after working on the house all day can be quite painful. David continues to work on the yard and very big surprise - we are overrun with blackberries! I'll have buckets of them!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Anger Management

The first month of moving and restoring a house is awful, there is no other way to put it. I still don't have my car, now it will be Saturday due to dip shit having "truck issues" (ie doesn't know what he's doing). We are at the store every day, as soon as we get home that's when we remember what we forgot. It's not really forgetting, it's when your cooking burgers and there's no ketchup, there's a light switch but no lamp. The pets are doing fine - Bob is still under house arrest until we are sure it's safe, the dogs went out today for the first time with just their electric collars and no leashes which was a big relief for everyone. They are not used to being on a leash so it can get a bit annoying for everyone. 

And the house. This is the first time in a long time we've had to live in the house from the start of renovation. There is a certain type of anger to it, isn't there? This house. This house was built by someone who really took time, carefully thought out and the man hours that must've gone into it. The tile floor is inlaid with hand cut dividers, the cabinets handmade, built ins in the hall, dining room. The bathroom is a bit dated, but my - it is all tiled, varnished cedar - the shower is constructed entirely of tile with a big window overlooking the creek. There is a cantilevered balcony on the second floor, on and on. And the woman who lived here - with up to 22 cats as per the postal person, managed to destroy it. She let the cats piss, shit and live in the cabinets, she probably never cleaned in the 11 years she lived here. Cobwebs, dirt, filth, everything just reeking of cat pee.

David mopped the floor. Kim mopped the floor, I mopped the floor. This morning I got Mr. Clean and a bucket of the hottest water and proceeded to hand wash the floor. I emptied the bucket when it turned black - 5 times for one room. It still smells a bit like cat pee, but it's much less. David will be gutting the kitchen, tearing out all those carefully crafted cabinets due to some one's laziness and indifference. But it's already looking better - it will be one of the biggest undertakings we've ever done, but I think it will be worth it to see this place restored to it's former glory. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Day Four and Counting

So, we are on Day Four, landing in Ogden Utah. We were going to try and do the whole she-bang in 4 days but it is just not worth the stress. This morning I had figured out an 8 hour drive which even with stops would be about 9 hours or a bit more. We did not leave at the crack of dawn, no one was motivated this morning and it was fun to stay long enough to have breakfast at the hotel. We have been doing Best Western for the remainder of the trip. The downside is the expense of course, but the upside is the lack of scary characters. It's hard to make reservations blind - I do as much research as I can but until you get there it's hard to figure out. I do go a lot by reviews and what people say - I'll discount the ones that whine about no conditioner or the person at the desk was not what they expected. The ones that talk about mold and the broken lock on the door THAT I pay attention to! But I'm too tired to spend the time so BW it is. Anyhoo, back to the drive....

So we left after 8, the drive is a straight shot - the route I've mapped is all highway and all the places we stay are right off the road. We were doing excellent...and then a dead stop. And not just a dead stop, turn your engine off and roll down the windows stop. We sat for so long I took Molly and Reuben for a long walk on the side of the road, the weather was very nice today. People smiled at them and asked what they were, it did help pass the time. The big hold up was an 18 wheeler flipped  on it 's side - no one was hurt but it held up traffic for miles! We went about 10 more miles and then hit construction which should have not been bad for a Sunday but everyone  was already piled up. It ended up taking an extra hour and a half, but still the driving was not like the other day. David has done all the driving because he doesn't trust anyone else to do it. 

So it ended up adding an extra hour and a half, but we arrived around 6 to the hotel and got everyone settled again. They're all getting used to it and once we have them in the room they go about their business, Bob bounces around the room and explores, the dogs flop on the bed and stretch out. This place has a restaurant on premises which really helped, I did have to laugh when ordering the takeout. We had wanted beer with dinner and the girl on the phone said we aren't allowed.... then I remembered I was in Utah which is a dry state. The only place you can get alcohol is a State Store as opposed to WV and PA where you can get all the scotch you can carry at the gas station. It was fine, I started making reservations at a Econolodge since I didn't see a Best Western listed, the woman put me on hold for +10 minutes twice, then couldn't get her computer to work, can I call you back? I looked again and the next town up had a Best Western which I called and booked. Ready for day 5!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Day Three

So, today was the long 10 hour ride - well, maybe a bit longer than that. Maybe a lot longer than that - here's a little helpful hint if you're driving across country take the time zones into consideration. Which I did not. We gained an hour in Iowa and then gained another in Nebraska, but that certainly didn't make it feel any shorter.  On the upside we arrived here around 4pm even after driving about 700 some odd miles - the downside was everyone was toast and super not happy. But we are staying at the Best Western Plus Lodge in Sidney NE and it is beautiful! We got the dogs walked and settled, Bob was unpacked and left to explore the room, they are actually quite good about all of this. We have had a few issues, Molly gets in trouble for policing the entire hotel(she barks at whoever parks in front of her room so we have to keep the curtains closed), Reuben got hauled fast away before he could mark one of the fancy wood posts outside the door as his - the usual mayhem. 

We ordered pizza in last night, there are a lot of hotels here so there are a lot of delivery places. I booked our next place - another Best Western, the ones out here by the way are very fancy! We decided to break up the travel a little more and do an extra day - 10 hours is just too rough with the pets since we have to stop more frequently to walk and water them and I think it's just too stressful for everyone. I had thought we could do two more 10 hour days which would mean only one more overnight stay in a hotel - but the downside to that is we would be arriving to our new home in the early evening. The water and electric need to be turned on, we will have no food in the house - we've done that before and it is always an over the top disaster. So we will be doing two 8 hour and then will only have 4 hours left so we can be at the house midmorning Tuesday. 

And the other benefit is getting everyone used to the time zone change - we have one more hour change  to go and then we'll be a full three hours ahead of our Pennsylvania time. The dogs are having a hard time of it, this morning found Reuben whining next to me this morning at 3am. I patted the bed and he got up, then got back down and resumed crying. Because in his universe it is 5 am and past the time he goes out to pee - in his eyes he had been very patient with me. So I got up and rummaged in yesterday's day clothes in the dark, found leashes, the room card, shoes. Molly was all ready too! so out we went at 3am in Nebraska - since it was 3am that would be when they run the sprinkling system too which delighted the dogs, but not their owner. I had a bit of a scary moment when I came in not being able to remember our room number, 107?136? I had two sprinkler happy dogs, wearing yesterday's rumpled laundry and my hair was not stellar so the idea of walking down to the front desk.......119!! In we went, David had put Bob the Bolter in her pen, she was looking quite malevolent but I have no idea where she thinks she's going. Jerk. Oh, well, on to day 4!